When I first received my original Spleene Zone from Poland, it wasn’t love at first ride. It seemed cool because I could boost a surfboard and not worry about the bottom falling off (looking @ u LiquidForce) but it just didn’t have that floaty surfboard feel I grew to love. It was used a few times here and there but I kept going back to the boards with volume. Then one day something clicked in and it clicked hard! The Zone became my go to board. Flat water light wind or major nuking with overhead mush dumps, the Zone was it. The supple feeling of the original 5’7″ Zone is sublime. It eats chop for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It rides soft and smooth and my knees definitely felt the difference. The thin rails and quad fins hold the edge while carving and boosting. I was starting to worry that if I lost this board I wouldn’t know what to do as there were no more being made.
Then one day Spleene released a new Zone and I immediately started drooling over the 5’6. Being cheap, I wasn’t willing to spend the $800 they wanted for it. Luckily it didn’t become very popular and soon enough the U.S. Spleene distributor was blowing them out on eBay. I won the auction for $500 and was pretty stoked. First thing I noticed is that it was much stiffer. It had to be stiffer because it now had foil mount inserts . After a few sessions I found a new love and the original Zone was put to the side aka dumped. The thruster fin setup made the Zone a lot more loose and playful. The full deck EVA padding is extremely comfortable and the stiffness grew on me so much that the original feels a bit floppy now. The Zone 5’6 is currently my main go to board. If there was a fire and I had to save one of my twelve or how ever many boards, this would be the board I’d grab first.
Now being a Spleene fanboi and browsing their website readily for updates, I noticed that a SurfDoor was coming out. I was a bit intrigued by the concept, even though it looked like a copy of the Tomo Firewire/Vanguard design into a twin tip construction. I was more intrigued by the “Door” concept for the “Surf”. I have one of the earlier Spleene Monster Doors and I’m quite familiar with its light wind potential as well as it’s lackluster performance in anything but smooth, flat water in light wind. It’s saved many sessions for me and a “SurfDoor” was something that I knew I had to try. Of course at the release, the price was too much but luckily enough there was again no interest from the peanut gallery regarding this type of board. There’s not much talk of this board on kiteforum or seabreeze and barely any details elsewhere.
But a day came when it was being blow out at Real for $599. I think that’s still a bit much of an asking price for it and I’m betting it’ll go down in price even more but I had to have it. After a short deliberation with my cheap self, I ordered the 5’7 SurfDoor in hopes of having fun in some light wind suck ass mush we call waves here.
First impression was that it’s big, Monster Door big. It’s a bit flexier than the 5’6 zone but not as flexy or thin as the original 5’7. But the most important part is that it RIPS! It’s not a playful sports car like the 5’6 but it’s not a minivan like the Monster Door TT, it’s somewhere in between being closer to the sports car. Perhaps and american muscle car. Unlike the MonsterDoor it doesn’t stick to the water, it carves effortlessly and rides toe side without killing your calfs. It’s forgiving in the chop but not floppy and has enough nose rocker to ride over and glide down waves. The swallow tail works very well when carving and the thruster setup is playful with just enough grip. It boosts well but does feel a bit big in the air. Most importantly is that it totally lives up to its name, the SurfDoor. It’s has the door light wind, upwind cranking machine feel while also being playful enough to enjoy carving in knee high plus, sloppy waves. There’s an option to run thruster, quad or just twin tip fins. I’m definitely planning on trying finless or TT fins on this board in some shallow spots for an Alaia like feel or maybe one or two fins for a skim / Shinster feel. I think these options will expand its fun potential even further.
My biggest gripe for the new models are the foil mounts. Both on the Zone 5’6 and the SurfDoor 5’7. You have to DRILL them out! WTF Spleene!!! When you pay $500+ for a new board, you do not want to put holes in it! The other is the foil mount spacing. 90×120? I personally would have preferred to have 90×160 or at least another option to drill the holes through. Only the SurfDoor you’re supposed to drill through, the Zone 5’6 has actual inserts, so you’re supposed to only drill until you open those up; even more complicated and probably much weaker.
In conclusion, I’d love to try these models in a carbon construction. Lighter, stiffer, a different feel with a sexy carbon look? SOLD! That is if the price is right. But looking at the way the industry markets and overprices carbon, I feel the price will never be right because of how niche these types of boards are.